Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Part 1 of Mexican Cooking (The Chef)

I am going to do a series of blogs and recipes on "Mexican Cooking".  Similar to the one I did on "Italian Cooking".  My goal is to try and cover authentic Mexican food from Mexico, Tex-Mex/Southwest food and other "Americanizing" of Mexican food throughout the series.  The series will run about every three to four weeks until it is finished.  I'm not sure, at this time, how long the series will run.  My guess is around a year.  The Italian one had 12 different blogs plus recipes and this one should be in the same area for blogs.

I hope you will enjoy and learn from this series on Mexican food.  Please send me questions or concerns that you may have on this topic.  I would be happy to cover them in the series.  Either just comment on one of the blogs or those that have my e-mail address, send them there.  Thank you in advance for your help.

In January, I went to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and talked with my friend, Saul Garcia Ramos.  Saul is the Executive Chef at the "Villa del Arco" in Cabo.  We talked about Mexican food and cooking.  Saul gave me several Mexican recipes from different regions of Mexico.  Mexico (and really any country) has different regional influences on their food just as we here in the USA have our regional differences.
Chef Saul Garcia Ramos and myself

A quick background of Saul culinary experience.  Saul's grandmothers got him into cooking at an early age and influenced his decision to go on to professional training.  He studied at the famous cooking school in Mexico, ICUM.  Upon finishing there, he headed to Spain to get his masters at EUHT in Sant Pol de Mar, Barcelona.  Then he was off to London, England where he picked up his knowledge of Asian cooking from Chef Jude Kereama ( a New Zealander).  From there, Saul, went to Sydney, Australia.  Here he worked with Danserau Celebrity Chef Serge where he picked up more skills in Fine Dining.  He then returned to London before to the Americas.

He traveled to Argentina, met and worked with Chef Guillermo J. Gomez.  Chef Gomez is still one of Saul's main mentors.  Returning to Mexico, Saul worked in the Riviera Maya area for several years including a year of teaching.  He has now been at Villa del Arco for over two years.  I first met Saul there just shortly after he started and have been communicating back and forth ever since.  During the time between our first meeting and last month, the food, plate presentation and table-service has improved greatly.

Saul and his staff exceed one's expectations and make you wish for a return stay quickly.  I'm very glad to be able to call them friends and have some help with cooking series.

Saul was raised in the Oaxaca region of Mexico and so I start the "Mexican Cooking" series there with two dishes from the region.  The first is "Salpicon" and it is a beef dish that is served on totopos or tostadas.  Totopos are baked corn chips (flat, round or triangular) originating in the Oaxaca region.  You could use soft tortillas too (popular in the USA).  The second recipe this week will be for "Oaxacan Style Refried Beans" and this calls for black beans.

Again, I hope you enjoy this series and ask questions or give comments as it goes along.  Until next week, "Happy Cooking" and be sure to try these recipes.


  1. Very interesting, Barry, and I look forward to your Mexican topic posts. Hi to your family!

  2. Hello Barry

    hope you doing well, now i live in cambodia and wish keep in contact with you, perhaps we can share more recipes hey? i'll give you my new mail adress
    wish you the best

    Saul Garcia Ramos